Jessica Brody BLOG: Dog Etiquette and the Importance of Owner Responsibility

Dog Etiquette and the Importance of Owner Responsibility

Few things cause ill will among neighbors like a dog owner who ignores basic etiquette. Most of us have known someone like that, an inconsiderate lout who leaves his dog outside barking at five in the morning or who looks the other way while his pup makes her morning deposit on a neighbor’s front lawn. These perpetrators may not be quite the villains they seem; like most dog owners, they’re blinded by love and the belief that their pooch is the cutest, smartest, most well-behaved tail wagger that ever lived. But they definitely need a crash course in doggie/neighbor protocol, not to mention a healthy dose of reality. It’s really not that difficult to be a well-behaved dog owner, it just takes some patience and a respect for one’s fellow man (and his yard). 

Good dog etiquette is especially important if you live in a neighborhood that has rules about owning a dog, or if your rental property allows dogs as long as you follow their rules to the letter. Teaching your dog a few key rules of public etiquette will help keep your furry friend under control and your neighbors happy. 

Don’t forget the bag!

Have you ever grabbed the leash and headed out the door, looking forward to a nice brisk walk with your pup, only to realize two blocks down the road that you left the dog waste bag by the front door? It may not rise to the level of a moral dilemma, but it’s a good test of a dog owner’s character. Do you head back home, or do you just let it fall and hope no one notices? Failing to clean up after your dog is one of the leading violations of dog etiquette. Aside from being unsanitary, dog waste can spread disease. Many people see it as nothing less than a sign of contempt and utter disregard for them. Before you start a full-scale dog waste war, consider that most cities have some kind of dog ordinance, which an angry neighbor will surely take advantage of if you’re not careful. If you don’t have dog disposal bags, grocery bags will work just fine. Don’t forget them!

Keep them leashed

Some people feel comfortable letting their dog off the leash, believing that their pet won’t run off or that no one will mind if he wanders around loose, indulging his sense of smell. Not only is it bad form, it’s dangerous. Dogs are killed or seriously injured every day by vehicles driven by distracted people who may not see them or be able to brake in time. Your dog may even wander into a yard that’s jealously guarded by a much larger, much more aggressive dog just looking for something to bite. If you really want to allow your little friend to run loose, head for the local dog park. Many have fenced-in areas where your pup can enjoy an hour or two free of the leash. If you must let your pup run around in your property, it’s best to have a fence. The average cost to put in a wood fence in Los Angeles is $1,766 - $3,830.

The yapper

A dog that yaps nonstop is another sign of dog-owner insensitivity. It’s annoying, even for other owners, and it can be a source of unrelieved misery for a neighbor who doesn’t own (or like) dogs. Use good common sense if your dog has a tendency to bark for hours on end. Let him in until he’s calmed down or the cause of his barking (the mailman, another dog going by, etc.) has passed on. If the situation persists, consider hiring a dog trainer who’s experienced at dealing with this problem (a private training session could run between $30 - $100 an hour). 

Common courtesy

Good dog etiquette is a matter of exhibiting courtesy and consideration for your neighbors by teaching your dog to be obedient. If you don’t have the time to do it, a dog trainer may be your best option. Either way, it’s an essential part of being a responsible owner. 

Courtesy of Pixabay


Jessica Brody BLOG: Is Being a Pet-Owner for You? Find the Answer Here (as Well as Tips for Success) Jessica Brody @ ourbestfriends.pet

 Jessica Brody blogging: Is Being a Pet-Owner for You? Find the Answer Here (as Well as Tips for Success) Jessica Brody, Ourbestfriends.pet | info@ourbestfriends.pet

If you’ve been thinking about getting a pet lately, you’re not alone. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pet ownership is on the rise in the U.S. Dogs are still the most popular, but more people than ever are getting everything from fowl to ferrets. And why not? Research shows that pets are good for your mental health. People who have them even tend to have lower blood pressure and be at lower risk for heart disease. And for those dealing with anxiety issues, having a pet can be a total life-changer. Read on for tips and advice for choosing the one and how to be the best pet parent on the block. 

How to Choose?

So how do you know what to bring home when there are horses, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, turtles, snakes, fish, and on and on? Sometimes you just know, but aside from that, you’ll need to determine which pet works best with your lifestyle. Some choices are made for you, like no matter how much you want a horse, if you live in a Manhattan studio apartment, that’s going to be a no go unless you can also rent an equestrian stable out in the country. Aside from “the heart wants what the heart wants” aspect, you’ll need to ask yourself these questions: 

  • Does anyone in your family have a pet-specific allergy? Before bringing home that beautiful Persian cat, make sure no one in your family is allergic to cats.

  • What can your budget afford? Do you have Samoyed and Chow Chow tastes with a parakeet budget? Be realistic regarding what you can afford when you consider all the expenses from food and toys to grooming, routine vet care, and occasional vet emergency care and boarding. Thankfully, Vet Finder can put you in touch with local veterinarians, and sites like City Pet sitters can connect you with people who can lend a hand when you need to be away from your new best friend.

  • How much time can you devote to your pet? Dogs are very social creatures and live to be with their person. They need daily walks and the ability to go outside to relieve themselves at least three to five times per day. If you want a puppy, they require even more attention because you need to train, socialize, and spend time with them. 

  • What are your expectations? Are you looking for a hiking companion, a snuggler, a protector, or a combo of all three? If you consider yourself more of a couch potato than a marathon enthusiast, being a cat owner might be your best bet, although some dog breeds do just fine with owners who are more on the sedentary side. 

  • If you are renting, you’ll need to find out if your landlord or community has any breed restrictions before you make a decision.

How to Prepare for Your Pet.

All pets need a place to eat, play/exercise, sleep and relieve themselves. Decide how you’ll take care of these needs before bringing your new baby home. Cats need their own special supplies, and dogs and birds need theirs. Do your research ahead of time on how to pet-proof your house, as well as find the best food if they have any particular allergies. Most importantly, select a good vet, and have her number in your contact list. 

Cleaning up after your pet will now be added to your daily to-do list. If you’re getting a dog, know that you’ll need to scoop up after him twice a day, and if you’re getting a cat, be prepared to maintain a litter box daily. With certain pets, you’ll need to stay on top of controlling pet dander in your home. The best way to do this is to vacuum and dust surfaces regularly. It also can’t hurt to consider an air purifier built to clear the air of pet allergens, though these sorts of appliances will require filter maintenance. So yes, another expenditure to consider when making your choice.

Taking care of these needs will go a long way in making your new pet feel safe and comfortable. Rescue pets especially may be nervous and fearful at first. The more time you spend with your pet in these early days, the better the long-term bonding will be. 

When you bring a pet home, you are making a commitment to him for life. All your preparation now will go a long way in ensuring the best start for your new life together. You’ve got priceless days ahead of you. Welcome to the world of happy and fulfilled pet owners!